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What Is Your Checklist Of Activities To Explore With Fountain Pens?

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10 replies to this topic

#1 S_B_P



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Posted 05 August 2020 - 15:00

I realize that there are similar posts that are old (http://www.fountainp...-fountain-pens/) and several blogs that talk about 10 (0r 20) things to do with fountain pens.


This is more of a my own check-list of things to explore with fountain pens - just sharing with you - I am also curious to know what you all do with your pens...

  1. Please share what activity that involves your fountain pens that interests you most...
  2. Please share what activity involving fountain pens would you like to explore in the future (something that you are not doing now)....

What I do currently with fountain pens:

  • Use it for utility (note-taking, regular work, journal-writing)
  • Practice to improve my own handwriting
  • Pulling apart and re-assembling inexpensive pens to understand their anatomy
  • Just appreciating the form and beauty and style of writing of pens

What I wish to explore in the coming months to years:

  • Learn to write specific handwriting styles (specifically - Palmer, Spencerian, D'Nealian)
  • Learn to how to use a flex-nib pen and use it for regular writing
  • Decorate my handwriting with variable-width-writing pen (eg. stub nib)
  • Experience writing with different nib sizes (I have so far used only Fine and Medium) - I will try B, BB, stub, italic, oblique, Architect and flex nibs
  • Learn to how to use a cursive italic and sharp italic nib for basic calligraphy
  • Learn calligraphic writing in my regional language script
  • Buy a magnifying glass and use it to study the structure of different nibs
  • Learn how to repair common problems in fountain pens confidently
  • Learn and Practice a new regional script (new language script)
  • Writing something original and creative (never wrote or said anything original so far in life)
  • Write famous quotes, photograph them and put them on a blog (second best option if there is nothing original to write)
  • Learn drawing/sketching with pens
  • Visit a pen-manufacturing unit and watch the craftsman at work
  • Learn to smooth-en the nib and grind the nib
  • Collect pens with different styles of ink-filling (eyedropper, convertor, sac, piston-filling etc)
  • Collect at least 1 pen made in each country in the world, and in each state within my country [as far as feasible expense-wise and availability-wise].
  • Collect an unusually slim fountain pen, and an unusually fat fountain pen.
  • Collect an unusually short fountain pen, and an unusually long fountain pen.
  • Explore inks with different colors (depending on cost and availability of inks this may or may not happen)

Please share your checklists and help me expand mine!


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#2 hari317



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Posted 05 August 2020 - 16:11

Explore paper.
In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#3 inkstainedruth


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Posted 05 August 2020 - 16:56

I journal (keeping a morning pages journal is what got me here in the first place -- I wanted a "nice" journal and a "nice" pen to get myself into the habit).  I do drawings sometimes, and have gotten back into writing poetry (and now also trying my hand at writing fiction).  In addition, I have several pens that are my go-to workhorses for times when I have to do research and take notes (#1 in that category being a Parker 51 Vac with an EF nib -- perfect size and weight for my hand, holds a huge amount of ink, compared to something with a converter, and that nicely tuned EF nib is stingy on ink but writes extremely well; so if I get into a groove I can get a lot of work done without having to stop and refill.

I have also started the exploration of different nib widths, and different fill systems.  And of course fell down the vintage rabbit hole.

But ultimately, they're just writing tools.  So I'm signing checks and making shopping lists (and keeping my fingers crossed that Noodler's Heart of Darkness won't rub off the back of the credit card that came in the mail yesterday (if not, I'm gonna have to pull out Noodler's Kung Te Cheng again  :rolleyes:).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#4 Rosendust



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Posted 12 August 2020 - 20:44

As far as what I'd like to experience in the hobby are:


  •  participating in the art of custom pens, (i.e. Actually helping make my own custom pen, if the maker allows)
  • Making my own custom ink

“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart."


-Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

#5 Antenociticus


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Posted 13 August 2020 - 02:01

1. Writing

2. Er ...

3. That's it

Lined paper makes a prison of the page.

#6 ParramattaPaul


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Posted 13 August 2020 - 05:19

'What I do currently with fountain pens:

  • Use it for utility (note-taking, regular work, journal-writing)
  • Practice to improve my own handwriting ...
  • Just appreciating the form and beauty and style of writing [with] pens'
  • Have an appreciation of a connection to those who came before me when I use a vintage fountain pen. 

Sums it up nicely for me.

#7 A Smug Dill

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 09:01

Put the pen in display case #1 I already have.

Put in display case #2 to see if it fits and/or presents better.

Put in display case #3 I have yet to acquire.

Decide where it should 'live' when not in use.


Write with a pen.

Modify the geometry of the nib's tipping material, which necessarily will be irreversible exercise, to (hopefully) better suit my personal tastes and ideas of 'expressiveness', and (more desperately) hope I don't make things worse in the process.


Try a pen model with some characteristic(s) for which it is widely known (and/or heavily marketed) — e.g. FA nib on a Pilot Custom 912, adjustable nib 'softness' on a Pilot Justus 95 — out for what I'd use a fountain pen to do.

Decide on the things and discoveries that are of particular interest to me in that regard.

Contemplate writing a review.

Then not doing it, because they are my concerns for which I've spent money to discover or confirm; others have their own interests, their own concerns, and their own discretionary spending budgets.

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.

#8 Parker51


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Posted 13 August 2020 - 11:06

1. Start writing letters to my grandson on at least a weekly basis.
2. Resume creative writing that largely stopped when our routines changed due to the current Pandemic.
3. Attend and participate in more Pen Shows as planned before the current Pandemic.
4. Resume in person attendance of Pen Club meetings.
5. Participate in Pelikan Hubs again.
6. Use my travel journals my wife got me for our retirement travel which we have not been able to do.
7. Share with our daughter which stopped along with visits due to the Pandemic.
8. Give some away to people who I believe would enjoy them who I no longer have contact with due to the Pandemic.
9. Buy them at a real store in person.
10. Hunt for them at estate sales, garage sales, etc.

#9 Estycollector


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Posted 13 August 2020 - 11:28

I use my FP's for every purpose that I used a pen before getting into this hobby. Like you, I do enjoy restoring, but I have no current inventory of needed parts and no real interest in having more pens at this point having finally received the Conway Stewart #84 yesterday after over a month in transit. 


I do enjoy having and using these vintage pens. 

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

#10 DonLeone


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Posted 13 August 2020 - 12:45

Currently my primary use is to update my bullet journal.


Regular uses:


- Journaling

- Work notes

- Actual work. I use A3-A4 pages to plan out everything. I'm usually in knowledge work. Recent years I've seen a pull towards using apps like OneNote and do it digitally because of collaboration possibilities but then I find out none of these people use OneNote and I'm back to using Word. I greatly prefer the immediacy of pen and paper but my back prefers cloud computing.

- General notes


Odd uses:


- Drawing. Yes I'm learning how to draw. Yes, some may not find it odd but it actually is. Every course suggest using those black fineliners. I've compromised and gotten a relatively large collection of Rotring Isographs and Rapidographs. I've converted them to taking fountain pen ink. "Converted" is a big word. I just use up the rapidograph ink and replace it with fountain pen ink. Lamy black, blue and green and scheaffer red.

- Watercolor painting. In a way, inks are basically watercolor to begin with. I use brush pens filled with ink to do watercolor techniques. I've "converted" several pentel brush pens to eyedropper brush pens using Herbin and Lamy inks and just paint with those. I have water-filled water brushes for actual watercolor painting and I've got an Escoda watercolor brush set on the way. I mix all these mediums. The fountain pen inks are probably not "good" for this because they probably fade in sunlight but I'm not at a level yet where this would actually be an issue since all my stuff is so ugly, nobody would hang it anywhere anyway.

- Highlighting: Not in school anymore but still, got my brush pens set up with highlighter style inks like herbin sun yellow or orange indien.


Pens that I consider "fountain" pens:


- Regular fountain pens

- Flex nib pens

- Fude nibs that I get on Chinese Hong Dian, Jinhao pens. These are a lot like brushes in the amount of ink they can lay down.

- Brush pens. Regular ones like Pentel Pocket Brush. Nice ones like the Kuretake ones.

- Technical pens like rOtrings that I get from antique shops for like three-fiddy while the expensive arts supply shops try to sell them for 40 bucks a piece. I got a full set with 3 pens for 35 bucks online. New. Original. 


In the future I'd like to do more writing and drawing and do some pen shows, maybe even create a pen myself.

Edited by DonLeone, 13 August 2020 - 12:46.

>8[ This is a grumpy. Get it? Grumpy smiley? Huehue >8[ I tend to ramble and write wallotexts. I do that.

#11 inkstainedruth


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Posted 13 August 2020 - 16:41

Very interesting.  Good to know that some FP inks do well in Rapidographs.  I have a set that haven't seen use since I got out of college (the original four were a set that I got as a high school graduation present) -- I didn't know that they were supposed to be for ruling until I got to college, because the only person I knew who had any used them for drawing (and I mostly did as well).  Gt into an argument with a guy I knew from the campus coffee house (not a student) about the ink -- he thought I should be using Higgins India ink, and I avowed that I liked the Rapidograph ink just fine, thank you very much, even though it wasn't super black like Higgins.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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